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Rangers 5, Hurricanes 1

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- Center Derek Stepan recorded a hat trick and Carl Hagelin added two goals to help the New York Rangers continue their mastery over the Carolina Hurricanes in a 5-1 win Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

New York (6-7-0) has now won nine straight over Carolina (4-7-3) dating back to Feb. 22, 2011. During that span, the Rangers have outscored the Hurricanes 36-17.

The win was the Rangers' third straight.

Stepan struck twice in the third period and once in the second for his first three goals of the season.

It was Hagelin's first two goals of the season after missing the first 10 games while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. The 25-year-old left wing scored in the first and second periods.

Stepan scored his first goal on a wrist shot through traffic on the power play at 15:54 of the second that provided New York with a 3-0 cushion and added another wrister at 9:09 of the third for his team's fourth goal.

Stepan scooped up a loose puck and fired it past Carolina goalie Justin Peters at 14:37 of the period for hat trick.

The Hurricanes received a power-play goal from defenseman Andrej Sekera at 19:23 of the second period. The goal was the Hurricanes' first in six periods since left wing Nathan Gerbe connected in the first period against Pittsburgh on Monday.

Carolina (4-7-3) was playing its second game in as many nights. The Hurricanes dropped a 3-0 decision at home to Tampa Bay on Friday. The Hurricanes have lost five straight, scoring just five goals in the process.

Hagelin was just out of the penalty box for hooking when Ranger left wing Taylor Pyatt cleared the puck from the defensive zone. Hagelin flew down the right side, beat Sekera to the puck just shy of the red line and jammed it behind Peters for his second strike of the night at 8:16 of the second period.

Hagelin used his speed again to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 8:26 of the first. He received a pass from Benoit Pouliot just outside the Hurricanes' blue line, outskated Carolina defenseman Ryan Murphy and Jay Harrison and sent a backhander past goalie Justin Peters from 20 feet away.

Both clubs have been offensively challenged the first month of the season. The Rangers tallied only 20 goals in their first 12 games, tied for Philadelphia for the lowest in the Eastern Conference.

Goals are at a premium for Carolina as well. The Hurricanes have lit the light only 27 times. Eric Staal and Jordan Staal have combined to score four goals through 13 games.

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist put together another fine outing since missing two games with an undisclosed injury. He stopped 27 shots and has allowed five goals in four games since his return.

NOTES: Carolina activated 6-foot-4 D Brett Bellemore from injured reserve before the game. ...The Hurricanes remain without G Cam Ward and G Anton Khudobin, both with lower-body injuries. ... Hurricanes leading scorer, LW Jeff Skinner, is sidelined with an upper-body injury. He and RW Radek Dvorak (lower body) are on injured reserve. ... Rangers D Marc Staal faced off against his brothers, Carolina C Eric Staal and C Jordan Staal, in a combined 44 career regular season games. ... Rangers C Brad Richards, C Derek Stepan and C Derrick Brassard have combined for 22 points in 12 games. ... Hurricanes C Manny Malhotra made his debut in Friday night's 3-0 loss to Tampa Bay, winning 15 of 20 faceoffs. The 33-year-old Malhotra was signed to a one-year contract Thursday. ... Carolina is the third least penalized team in the NHL, averaging 9.2 minutes a game.

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